Socitm will challenge council leaders to learn more about IT and use it more effectively, president Richard Steel said at the annual conference.
The CIO at the London Borough of Newham council said business leaders in local authorities need to increase their knowledge of technology and stop wearing their IT ignorance as a "badge of honour".
He said, "Too many of our customers are still closeted in silohs and wear their ignorance of IT like a badge of honour. They are resistant to change.
"For too long we have been inward-focussed. It is now time to challenge our stakeholder communities to use the potential of ICT effectively."
He announced a new Socitm benchmarking service aimed at measuring improvements in services that are facilitated by IT. Steel said he wanted to "focus on demonstrating effective use of IT rather than just measuring efficiency."
The organisation also announced a package of measures designed to support councils in joining the Government Connect network, central government's public sector IT infrastructure project.
From April next year, the only way councils will be able to share benefits data will be via this network. Before they are allowed to join they must meet the requirements of the Code of Connection. Steel announced a package of support for councils trying to do this, saying the effort was worth it - despite earlier problems with the project.
He said, "I am convinced that by throwing our weight behind the achievement of a secure government infrastructure after, let's face it, years of fragmentation, proscrastination and wasted effort, the public sector ICT profession can considerably extend its authority."